Sowerby Bridge allotment threat is lifted

A COUNCIL allotment site that growers were told might be unsafe is to remain open.

But anyone who wants to leave will be given preference when it comes to allocating plots on a proposed new allotment about a mile away.

Calderdale Council Cabinet has agreed to meet up to half of the costs involved in creating the new £100,000 garden at Bentley Road, off Sowerby New Road, Sowerby Bridge.

It is a sloping site immediately next to an informal sports pitch which will be retained.

The existing allotment at Milner Royd, Sowerby Bridge, has been under threat since tests showed a former riverside tip contained a wide range of contaminants.

Growers were told at one stage that it could be dangerous to eat too many root vegetables grown on the site.

But the latest advice from the council and the Health Protection Agency is that it can still be used, providing growers follow advice on managing the risks.

Chickens are to be banned but “in the main the risks are low.”

Environment spokesman Coun Barry Collins said the council had worked hard to establish the true scale of the problems at Milner Royd, to keep the allotment holders fully informed and to try to find a solution.

“We now have a way forward which will maintain Milner Royd and create space for more allotments in Sowerby Bridge.”

The chairman of Calderdale Leisure Gardeners Association, Rod Mellor, said the use of raised beds at Milner Royd would further reduce the risks on the site.